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The Rental Review (2020)

My History With the Film:
The Rental got a lot of publicity because it was released during the COVID pandemic and managed to be both the besting selling VOD movie and scored at the top of the box office the same weekend. The movie opened to rave reviews and being a fan of Allison Brie I decided I needed to see it. 

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
Two couples rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend get-away.

What I Liked About It:
-The movie does an amazing job at playing on real fears. It takes the concept of the creepy motel clerk spying on visitors to a whole new high tech level. With cameras getting smaller and cheaper, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this sort of thing playing out in real life and that is a very scary thought.

 -Once the action kicks in at the very end, there are a few very good scenes. Both of the scenes that come to mind are traditional horror movie scenes with things going on in the background or a sudden attack occuring out of no where. Director Dave Franco did a great job with those two scenes, and then proceeds to squander it with a slow burn ending.

-The actual ending was pretty good. It left you curious about what happens next and could lead to a sequel.

-The performances overall were good, with Toby Huss (Taylor) stealing the show.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-Take four unlikable millennials, stick them in a house, and then try and get the audience to care about them possibly being spied on. All four characters are so dis-likeable I couldn’t find a reason to care. The movie was too rooted in reality to cheer for any sort of killer, so I was left watching a movie featuring annoying characters in a potentially scary situation.

-The movie takes way too long to get going and then once it starts, it attempts to go off the rails but never full commits.

Additional Notes:
-Dave Franco’s directorial debut.

I wanted to like The Rental. I love Allison Brie and a low budget, Air BNB voyeuristic horror movie sounds like a lot of fun but sadly it wasn’t. In fact, if The Rental committed any sin, it’s the fact that it forgot that it was supposed to be fun. It’s depressing, slow, dark, and features lifeless and annoying characters. The movie fell completely flat and it was not a good time.

I rate The Rental a one out of five and say skip it.

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